World Lupus Day – Lupus Awareness Blog No. 10 – YOUR blog or Facebook, YOUR pledge and Ten Minutes for Lupus
Today the featured blogger is YOU! Today is World Lupus Day, so what can YOU do to help promote lupus awareness? You are only one person, but a single voice can make an impact in spreading lupus awareness. Lupus awareness saves lives. So, take ten minutes to make a difference.
Share World Lupus Day with YOUR blog readers or YOUR Facebook followers by copying the four lines of information below into a post on YOUR blog, Facebook page or email to your friends and family:
Today is World Lupus Day! Do you have just ten minutes for Lupus?
1. Learn about Lupus, an autoimmune disease that affects 1 out of every 150 people, spend 5 minutes clicking on the link to the Lupus Foundation of America to read Could You Have Lupus?
2. Please read & sign the Lupus Awareness Pledge on the official World Lupus Day Pledge page.
3. Then, tell your friends, loved ones, blog readers or Facebook friends what you learned about lupus by email or post.
Lupus Truth No. 10 – It is expensive to treat lupus!
The Diagnosis and Treatment of Lupus: Lupus can be an expensive disease!
The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) reports that “the average annual cost to provide healthcare for a person with lupus is $12,643, and rises to nearly $21,000 when lost work productivity is included.”
However for those of us who are receiving the new biologic drugs, the real cost to our insurance companies is now many times greater than treatment with the standard medications included in the LFA’s estimates.
The average annual costs to a patient’s insurance company for monthly infusions of the new just-for-lupus drug Benlysta can run anywhere from $40,000 to over $100,000 per year! The hospital where I get my Benlysta infusions bills my insurance company every month for somewhere between $8,000 and $11,000!
It can cost dramatically less over all for infusions given in a doctor’s office, but with generally much higher patient co-pays and much lower charges billed to the insurance company. However, my insurance company will only pay when it is done at a hospital.
I continue to lobby for the logic of my insurance company agreeing to pay the same amount if infusions were to be given at my Rheumatologist’s office!
I have to admit that I am not noble enough to pay the increased cost to save my insurance company (a third-party administrator handling the self-funded health insurance for my employer) the difference. Benlysta costs my employer MORE THAN MY SALARY every year! (I have been brave enough to point this out to my employer, and still they keep me around!)
For this reason, unfortunately, many insurers and public funded health coverage plans around the world are not yet agreeing to pay for Benlysta. It is simply a matter of the math, and the bottom line on the insurance coverage company’s corporate balance sheet!
We can only hope that enough insurance companies will pay for it, and that the demand is great enough that the costs of production can be reduced over time. If it is successful financially for the drug company, it may in turn become less expensive, and eventually become more affordable for patients who need it.
To learn more about this the costs of lupus medications, please read my post from World Lupus Day 2012 on May 10, 2012.
Plan to POP — Put on Purple — NEXT Friday for Lupus May 17th
Remember to organize your orchid accessories to get ready to “POP” — Put on Purple — for Lupus on Friday, May 17th!